Sega CEO Hajime Satomi says he wants to improve the quality of their games moving forward. That could mean a lot of things. It's nice to hear, but what they do next with their games is the real answer.
Star Wars: The Old Republic Update 2.0: The Good Aspects
Star Wars: The Old Republic game update 2.0 hit the Public Test Server on February 20, with various fixes and additions made on February 27, March 1, and March 6. With the content of the patch, it has been speculated that we could see 2.0 on live servers around the time the digital expansion, Rise of the Hutt Cartel, releases. While we only have “spring 2013” as a release time for the digital expansion, spring is just around the corner. Since the March 6 update added more new features, I decided to do a breakdown of what I believe are the good and bad points of the new update. Let’s start with the good. This article, being the first part of the set, will only include the good portions. The bad portions of the update will be included in a later article.
The first, and obvious, point to make here is the raised level cap for players and Crew Skills. All players will now be able to reach Level 55, and Crew Skills now max out at 450. Crew Skill Missions will now grant up to Rank 9 materials, with new schematics available. Obviously, due to the raised player level cap, we also have new end game gear for PvE and PvP. The cap also grants us Level 55 hard modes for the Athiss, Cademimu, Hammer Station, and Mandalorian Raiders Flashpoints, along with a level 55 variant of the Terror From Beyond Operation. We also get a new, Level 55 Operation, called Scum and Villainy.
Update 2.0 will also present a new commendation system. As of 1.7, the system involved commendations for each planet, end game tier, Warzone vs. Ranked Warzone, Daily Commendations, and Tionese Crystals. As of Update 2.0, players will see a smaller, much more organized, list of Basic, Classic, Elite, Ultimate, Ranked Warzone, and Planetary Commendations. Level 50 Flashpoint bosses will drop 2 Classic Commendations, which will be used to purchase Campaign Gear, along with most Daily areas. Level 51-55 activities, such as the new Elder Game content and Section X, will grant Basic Commendations, which are used to purchase schematics and the like, similar to the current Mission Support Vendor. With this new phase, all commendations currently listed in the live server will be phased out and converted into the new set (Tionese Crystals will be converted to Planetary Commendations), at varying scales. Black Hole gear will now drop from Level 50 Hard Modes.
The next major change to present in my list of good aspects is the inclusion of the Legacy Achievements system. Achievements are cumulative within a player’s Legacy and will provide various rewards, ranging from Titles to Cartel Coins for use in the cash shop. These Legacy Achievements can be earned from defeating enemies or players, maxing out companion affection, exploring areas, finding datacrons, and more. Public Test also lists achievements for Makeb, which are similar to previous planets.
All classes will receive new abilities in the new update. These new skills will be trainable upon reaching Level 51. After taking a look at the PTS patch notes, I have broken these down by class, in the list below:
- Sentinel: Twin Saber Throw
- Guardian: Saber Reflect
- Warrior: Dual Saber Throw
- Juggernaut: Saber Reflect
- Sage: Force Barrier
- Shadow: Phase Walk
- Sorcerer: Force Barrier
- Assassin: Phase Walk
- Gunslinger: Ready for Anything, Hightail It
- Scoundrel: Scamper, Street Tough (Passive)
- Sniper: Covered Escape, Spotter (Passive)
- Operative: Exfiltrate, Preparedness (Passive)
- Commando, Mercenary: Electro Net, Mortar Salvo (Passive)
- Vanguard: Shoulder Cannon, into the Fray (Passive)
- Powertech: Shoulder Cannon, Close and Personal (Passive)
For PvP players, you will be happy to hear that Bolster has been changed. Bolster is now based on item ratings, rather than the player’s level. This means that, while Bolster is in effect, your gear will also be boosted to cap, as opposed to the previous method of simply raising the character to level 50. While there was a bug in the new system when Public Test launched, it has now been fixed – players no longer need to worry about a bolstered Assassin with four hundred thousand HP killing you with Force Lightning. (This has happened in the past. I wish I made that up.)
PvP will also be separated into three new level brackets: Levels 10-29, Levels 30-54, and Level 55. This is updated to change the previous 1-49 and 50 brackets.
Lastly, there are two minor aspects that make the end of this list. Resurrection timers have been reduced, and will increase in consistent intervals. Medical Probe countdowns have been reduced to 3 minutes (down from 10), Medical Center to 5 seconds (down from 10), and the counter for accepting another player’s resurrection is 2 minutes (down from 10). The other aspect that I’m very excited about is, as up the March 6 update, Guild Members will now receive a 5% experience boost. Over the months, I began to think guilds were getting rather useless, save for being social with friends and creating groups for Elder Game content.
This concludes the aspects of update 2.0 that I feel good about. You can check out the bad portions here.